Letter to 2nd District Neighborhood Associations

February 14, 2017

 

 

All:

 

This is some information that was requested by the Thomas Square Neighborhood Association about the city’s legislative agenda regarding Eminent Domain, Resort Destinations (gambling casinos was language the Governor kept from the bill), etc. if any of your members want to look closer at this or contact their representatives to express an opinion.  Personally I hope they will support the change to Eminent Domain, Recorder’s Court, and Pardons and Paroles, but not support the Resort Destinations.  There was also some questions about assistance for homeowners wanting to repair their homes but having limited resources.  My intent, and I believe my council colleagues agree with this, is not to use Eminent Domain to do anything other than help people reoccupy blighted properties that are empty and essentially abandoned, often needing some mechanism to clear a cloudy title before even an interested family member/heir will be willing to invest in the property.  We also want to help those who need help taking care of their property, not move anyone out.  Of course, as always, resources are limited, but we do have the programs listed below.

 

Solving blight will help with our crime issues and also help with the large demand we have now for housing.  I believe we have something like 6000 people on waiting lists for housing.

 

I’m sending this to all the neighborhood associations in the 2nd District in addition to the Thomas Square folks, for whatever benefit it may be.

 

I would also like to see about getting the associations’ leadership together some time to get the groups working together on issues that matter to all of them and cross neighborhood boundary lines.  If you are interested in that, please let me know.  In addition, Mayor Pro Tem Carol Bell and I will be doing another Ask an Alderman event in the next couple of months and I will let you know the date as soon as we confirm that.

 

Thanks for all the efforts you make for this community,

 

Bill Durrence

P. O. Box 1305

Savannah, GA 31402

bdurrence01@SavannahGA.gov

All Georgia General Assembly Bills can be tracked at www.legis.ga.gov

 

Here are some bill numbers and direct links to legislation we are following:

 

Destination Resort Act (gaming), HB 158: http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20172018/HB/158

 

Recorder’s Court of Chatham County, SB 73: http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20172018/SB/73

 

Pardons and Paroles Transparency, HB 34: http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20172018/HB/34

 

Click here to view the City's Legislative Agenda with background info on all of the above, as well as legislation that has yet to be introduced, including:

  • Eminent domain for blighted properties (powerpoint made to the Georgia Municipal Association on this issue can be viewed here.)

  • Commercial property tax relief

  • Identification cards for parolees (Read memo on this topic from Georgia Municipal Association)

  • Confiscated weapons

  • Drainage funding

 

Our Dream Maker Program -- which provides affordable loan and downpayment assistance for qualified homebuyers -- still exists and is thriving. Info and application can be found here: http://savannahga.gov/index.aspx?NID=569

 

We have a Minor Home Repair Assistance Program for homeowners who meet income criteria. Info and application here: http://savannahga.gov/index.aspx?NID=571

 

You can find info on these two and other homeowner assistance programs at www.savannahga.gov/housing.  The Housing Department’s phone number is 912-651-6926

 

 

 

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